Tigers reportedly fell just $2 mil shy of luxury tax

The Tigers have paid out luxury tax for payroll only once since Major League Baseball put the system in place in 2003. That was in 2008. If an Associated Press report is accurate, Detroit came as close this year to crossing the threshold as it has since paying out.

According to final calculations reportedly obtained by AP, the Tigers finished with the third-highest payroll in the game at just over $187 million. That’s just $2 million shy of the $189 million mark that triggers the luxury tax calculation.

The two teams with higher payrolls — the Dodgers and Yankees — are reportedly due to pay out $45 million combined in luxury tax. Both pay higher rates as repeat big spenders — 30 percent for the Dodgers, 50 percent for the Yanks. If Detroit had gone over, it would have had to pay tax at just a 17.5% rate for first-timers on the excess amount.

The luxury tax threshold rose from $175 million in 2013 to $189 million this year. It will stay at $189 next season, so any significant increase will put the Tigers at risk again. And while the Tigers shed payroll with Torii Hunter in Minnesota, Austin Jackson in Seattle and Max Scherzer potentially headed elsewhere, the average annual value on Victor Martinez’s contract goes up from $12.5 million to $17 million. Meanwhile, David Price is up for arbitration one more time after earning $14 million this year. Also, Joakim Soria will be making $7 million with his option year exercised, and Alex Avila gets a raise to $5.4 million with his option picked up.

The total payroll numbers here are significantly higher than numbers previously seen. However, for luxury tax purposes, MLB uses average annual salaries on long-term contracts, not a specific year’s salary. It also includes the 40-man roster, not just the active 25-man list from Opening Day, and includes benefits.

That thin margin perhaps offers some view into why Alfredo Simon made sense for the Tigers in replacing Porcello. Payroll went up a few million in the Simon and Cespedes trades, but it would have surely been more had the Tigers acquired a higher-salaried, longer-term starter like Mat Latos.

Given the numbers, it would be nearly impossible for the Tigers to re-sign Scherzer without paying out luxury tax, meaning a deal would come at a higher cost than the salary in the contract. They could take comfort in the likelihood that they’d only be paying it for a year if Price leaves as a free agent next winter, but it would still be a complication.

73 Comments

I don’t understand Major League . The Tigers are owed 300 million for there TV. contract wouldn’t it raise the team payroll so it give the Tigers room to sign the players that are needed people like Max,and Price …

Don’t know where you get the $300 million figure? It is not near that much per year … I think Tigers get between 30 and 50 million per year from TV. 2014 Payroll came in at 187 million … just below the luxury tax threshold … third highest in all of baseball. To sign Scherzer they would have to go over 200 million in 2015 … doubt they will go there.

Unless they also deal Price and Avila.

Mark Simon ‏@msimonespn · 2h2 hours ago
2014 leaderboard of the day

Which hitters had the highest walk rate in 2014? (minimum 250 PA) pic.twitter.com/PwDJJ0JDOL

Avila 15, Victor 52

I can’t fathom that much money! I have not been on the blog in quite a while and probably won’t be unless something major happens until we get closer to training. This is a great blog an wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas or a happy holiday depending on what you celebrate. Be safe and enjoy. GO TIGERS!

Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays too

Hernan Perez wont play with Zulia this season or postseason. The season is over for the Academy´s team so he wont play until ST

Major League Baseball got a 9 billion dollars TV. contract . That is were the Tigers are in for a 300 million dollar , That is were they can improved the team or what else they need to do ..

Crazy … ill-informed post … MLB does not get 9 billion per year from its TV contracts. Tigers get roughly 50 million per year from FSD and another 60 million as their share from MLB. Since attendance was down roughly 2,000 per game in 2014 compared to 3013, I suspect the Tigers didn’t even break even in 2014 …their payroll is likely at its limit with no room for Scherzer.

$9 billion was the gross revenues for the year.
45% of that income ( 4,066,496,491 ) was spent in the salaries of the players
In 2013, the operative income of the Tigers was just 7.5 MM after a loss the year before

Can’t remember an offseason quite like this one with so many trades and acquisitions among so many MLB teams. That doesn’t include all the coaching and front office position changes including speculation about GM’s moving to a different team. Kind of a surreal year in that regard.

The best “LH” Tigers reliever:
2014 leaderboard of the day

Which right-handed pitchers had highest K% vs LHB (regardless of starter/reliever) pic.twitter.com/ynVYH219Mo

Cafardo:”Many baseball execs feel that Max Scherzer will end up back with the Tigers. The executives Cafardo spoke with think that Scherzer will top Jon Lester‘s six-year, $155MM pact but fall well short of $200MM, unless option years are counted”
Pass, extending Price would be wiser

that is interesting. do these execs think Tigers relatively overvalue Scherzer? do they believe Ilitch won’t ‘let’ him leave without outbidding all others? are they just assuming the default return to Detroit because there are few rumors circulating now regarding another destination? some elaboration on how they arrived at their opinion would be informative.

My guess, the parallel with Fielder

It would be nice if the Tigers locked up Price this winter so they could get out of this Scherzer business. Not that I think that could happen, unfortunately.

I believe the that the Tigers should re-sign Price and move on .

Lester gets 6y/$155m with full no trade, 25h free private jet, 7th season option would add $15m to deal ($25m in 7th season). $25.8m annual avg salary. Lester will be 31 at start of ’15 season, 1600 IP, 116 Wins.
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David Price will be 29 start of ’15, 1200 IP, 86 Wins. how much more than Lester is Price worth? also by comparison, Scherzer age 30, 1200 IP, 91 Wins.
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highest salaried pitcher is Kershaw at $30.7m. Giants were reported runner up for Lester at 6y/$150m. Bosox last offseason reportedly offered Lester 4y/$70m ($17.5m avg). Scherzer declined reported 6y/$144 ($24m avg) from Tigers.

Thanks , Woody .. Those facts getting us thinking … with Max out in outter space .. Tigers got to look in the mirror and say Price is our man .. Listining to MLB they say that Jim Leylan is taking care of our men , that will help David , Tigers need to let David friend Geroge come to the game and even let nim go on the road with him .. I thought it be great idea .

Price? Scherzer? The tigers already have their man in Justin. Chances that either DP or MS are tigers in 2016 is slimmer than a peeled onion.

All I want for my New Year wish list is the Detroit Tigers be World Seris Champ ..and I like to wish every body a Merry Christmas ,, and a happy Mew Year … Play ball !!!

The rumors of Max to the Tigers just won’t go away. Out of curiosity, if they sign Max….who would they trade Price FOR?

Hey Evan, first to post in 5 days. I like Price. If we sign Max, I would trade him mid season. I would also get rid of Stafford and the offensive coordinator. Sorry, could not resist a Lions jab. Maybe we can beat Dallas 5-0. Memories anyone? Happy new year! -Dave

I was so disgusted!

if you trade him mid season are you still going to go over the luxury tax limit then? In my scenario, the luxury tax must not be invoked this year so you couldn’t have both Price and Max. Although that would be nice, because I’d put Simone in the play pen (where he belongs).

The true about Price and Detroit.
http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24745655/david-price-said-to-have-uneasy-transition-to-detroit-at-least-at-first
It was just the fear of change.

The Lions were helped , twice , by the officials and still a limping QB was enough. Odd, a Detroit QB unable to perform in the cold weather. Watched two games this year, they lost both.

talk about a slow recovery process – holy cow – he hasn’t even got back into doing defensive drills. These shin splits are a nightmare!

Broken legs……both of them. He’s giving his legs complete time to be healed, but meanwhile staying in shape, taking ground balls, etc. I don’t blame him. Get those legs healed, Iggy!

Thanks for the link to the Heyman article on Price, ET. It mirrors what my thoughts were. Price would also have had it easier if it had been an offseason trade.
David, like Rajai, is a lively presence on Twitter and both seem to be really good guys. Rajai conducted some giveaways over the holidays. Nothing close to Fister and his big coffee giveaway, but still fun stuff.

Since we’re pretty short on Lefty bullpen help……I wonder why we didn’t claim D. Downs on waivers the other week? His career numbers versus left-handed hitters 202/291/310 in 189 PAs

Gets beat up by RH hitters.

Our bullpen is not above pitchers who get beat up! For example Ian Krol in 2014 vs RHP: 348/410/638 in 78PA, right? – got lit up! Well Downs in 2014 vs RHP was 255/344/382 in 65PA.

Coke, career BA by LH:243/.297 /.352/.648
Al2, career BA by LH: 215/.305/.308/.613
Above is the leaderboard for 2014. He was among the best against LHB

I sure do love that, ALBQ! I reckon if he goes down we’re in some real trouble. There was once I time I thought him “fragile”…..hopefully I was wrong!

The slider can hurt an arm but his 72 games are the 11 th highest mark ever for a Tiger´s reliever

One could make the argument he is due to an injury

I’m sure DD would make the opposite argument! Lesson: IT DOESN’T PAY TO BE AN OPTIMIST WHEN IT COMES TO BULLPENS

meanwhile, there are those who think AA players will be the solution!

happy baseball solstice, everybody!

To all you Becks Bloggers–the “Bext” of the new year to all.

likewise dan! Hey anyone see Marlon Byrd was traded for a prospect? Seems like we could have done that and held onto Porcello…no? Byrd can hit 25 and play above average corner OF….. like cespedes

thank gawd it’s January – now where is my miggy update!?

I know what I’m doing today:
.
http://www.foxsports.com/detroit/story/new-year-s-day-tigers-baseball-marathon-on-fsd-123114
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Opening day is on right now. The 4:00pm game is my favorite of the year.
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Happy New Year to all my friends on Beck’s Blog.

i don’t get FSN out here in NewEngland, but I’m listening to the June 5th game right now. Hard to find a game Torii doesn’t make some kind of error in the field.

Yes, he made a doozy in this one (Opening Day) and so did AGon. It’s the 9th inning, tie score and Nathan is pitching. Mario & Rod announcing on a beautiful 54 degree sunshine day. It’s pure heaven!

kathy what date is the 4pm game?

nvrmnd i figure it out. rewatching myself!

I bet that David Dabaski goes back to the poker table on Monday .,What poker face does he have ,,,Too solved this .,, drama that Max and Borgs are putting on ,,,, … Even though Theat David DaBraski has a (Ace) up his sleeve .. with David Price ….

OT. Raiola and Suh: Dom and Ndammer.

I wonder if the Marlins are really as dumb as it appears. you hear about this Dan Haren situation? lol.

Hey. That is funny Dan! Their crap makes it hard to be a Lions fan. I’m sure there are fans who are willing to “overlook” such crap though….everybody does it….right?…..yeah right….my 2 cents.

All that being said/felt, I do hope the boys in Blue and Silver are able to handle a much better team tomorrow.

without question, go lions tomorrow! I’ll be flying to AZ during the game, unfortunately.

I don’t get it?!
Why would the Lions NOT decline the penalty after shutting Dallas down and putting them 4th and 2 in their own end?
Stupid-gave them another down and BINGO!
Unbelievable!

I don’t know if I can continue watching, Dan. Have to keep the faith, though.

It’s hard to keep the faith with these officials. Oh, the names I have called them.

I’m no longer following Craig Monroe on twitter. How dare he use the excuse that Dallas has always been his team because that’s home. Does he root for the Rangers and Astros when he’s announcing games for the Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit?

Lot of things wrong about the game today but it al goes back to our QB. He just did not get the job done. Good season and all, (the head coach is very culpable in this defeat) but a really good QB inds a way to win. Matt never will. Golden arm but grey synapses.

I started screaming at my son on the phone about Jim Joyce. That’s how upset I was.

If it makes you feel any better, I thought of Jim Joyce too. That PI turned over was about as political a call as I’ve seen in an NFL game.

I’m really starting to question the integrity of the game(s).

I stopped trusting the NFL years ago. I only watched tonight because the Lions were in it. I don’t think you’ll ever see the equivalent of Giants-Royals in the Superbowl. They insist on big money matchups. IMO.

Regardless of my comment above I, rooted hard for the Lions. I am also convinced that the game is rigged. That reversed penalty call was the most blatant fix I’ve ever seen. It resulted in a 14 point swing which was the game. I thought Stafford did well enough to win but you can’t win when the deck is stacked. Would imagine the deck will not be stacked against Green Bay at home.

You are correct Marty. I have become a total Conspiracy theory nut. The buzzer went down to the field telling the official to pick up the flag. The business end, which is really all that counts, especially in football, wanted a Packers/Dallas match. More money; call me cynical; call me crazy, but after that call, I am convinced that the Big Boys control all of us./

i think basketball is the worst one, then football, then hockey and baseball….so at least our baseball is the least corrupt..imo

I would agree with that.
The funny thing in my household is that I was the one who had Lions season tickets before moving away from Michigan but now it’s my WIFE who is the only football fan in the house. I can walk into the room, stop and explain a particular play in great detail, and then walk away not at all interested in the game she’s watching. Like a sitcom or something.

Yes, bad PI call. The lions defense had 4th and 6 and did not blitz? Dallas guy wide open. Stafford with the ball and the end? He looked like he was paid to take a fall. Well, it is one day closer to Spring.

Mike Periera/Jim Joyce = Love is Blind.

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